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Healthcare Stocks Easing Into Today's Close; Ariad Pharma Rallies on Cost-Savings Plan

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 11/8/2013 3:44:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: ARIA;SLXP

Top Healthcare Stocks

JNJ +0.90%

PFE +0.94%

ABT +0.65%

MRK +1.83%

AMGN +1.73%

Healthcare stocks are giving back a sliver of their earlier advance with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index now adding 0.7% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 rising 1.1% as a group.

In company news, Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( ARIA ) is set to finish moderately higher, with shares rising 2.2% to $2.34 each after the drug-maker said it plans to eliminate 160 positions - or 40% of its workforce - as part of a broader program aiming to reduce costs next year at the company by $26 mln.

ARIA expects to complete the layoffs, all in the U.S., by Dec. 31. The decision follows the company recently opting to temporarily suspend the marketing and commercial distribution of Iclusig thrombosis medication in the U.S.

The company said it will provide additional details of its cost-cutting program on Nov. 12 when it reports its Q3 financial results.

In other sector news,

(+) SNTS, (+37.8%) Agrees to a $2.6-bln acquisition by Salix Pharmaceuticals ( SLXP ), accepting $32 per share. SLXP also is up nearly 18%, saying the deal will "lead to significant accretion in 2014" and "greater" EPS accretion in 2015.

(-) DRRX, Prices 7.14 mln shares at $1.40 each; board chairman to buy 714,000 shares. Proceeds are expected to support future clinical trials, research & development and working capital.